• Premier Travel Inn the star at Whitbread

Premier Travel Inn has once again ridden to the rescue of Whitbread as all the other major businesses in the group put in either declining or modest improvements.

In particular, Whitbread's restaurant business is continuing to struggle even after the 235 outlets being sold-off are pulled out from the numbers.

At PTI, like-for-like sales were up 6.7% and total sales ahead by 13.7% for the 13 weeks to June 1. In contrast, like-for-likes at the pub restaurants were down 2.0% and up just 1.9% at high street restaurants.

Leisure division David Lloyd provided little more relief with a 2.1% increase in like-for-likes. Only the relatively minor Costa Coffee shone alongside PTI with an increase of 6.5%.

The Whitbread story remains one of asset restructuring, commented analysts at ABN Amro. The sale of the 235 pub restaurants is expected to net between £450m and £500m plus there is a further £115m to come from the sale of the half-share in Pizza Hut and another £68m from the TGI Friday's franchise.

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